With the huge success of The Lord of the Rings movies, The Hobbit has been anticipated by fans of the epic fantasy adventure films since it was first announced the movies were in the works.
With Peter Jackson set to direct The Hobbit films, audiences expected to see the same magic that transpired in the The Lord of the Rings movies. Also, the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro (who is widely known for his success with films like Pan’s Labryrinth) stepped up the anticipation and expectation of this film.
For those who have read the novels, The Hobbit is one of the most beloved of all the books written by J.R.R. Tolkein, with a storyline that really draws the reader into the world of Erebor and its diverse characters. However, readers will notice that much of the storyline from the book was left out of this second installment, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
When production of The Hobbit was first announced, it was going to be a two-part film, but then changed to become three films. One would assume that with the storyline stretching out to encompass three full length features, there would be a chance to include every bit from the actual book it’s based on. However, this second film actually left out many parts from the book and replaced them with brand new characters and storylines.
A huge change readers will see in the film is the addition of a female elf named Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly. A love triangle story reveals itself in the film, with Tauriel having conflicting feelings for both Legolas (played by Orlando Bloom) and Kili, a young dwarf.
Lilly is no stranger to playing out love triangle scenarios, as her character on Lost found herself in a similar situation. However, because Tauriel and her relationships with Legolas and Kili were nowhere to be found in the original novel, audiences might be surprised at this addition.
In some ways it can be seen as just another way to make the film more blockbuster-worthy, since so many movies now play on the love triangle angle to draw in fans or “teams” taking one side or another. It seems like this is a theme that continues to make its way into films, with Twilight, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Hunger Games and The Host, all playing up this angle.
Overdone plotlines aside, audiences will notice much more action in this second installment compared to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Just as in how the first Lord of the Rings seemed to start off slow to let audiences become more familiar with the characters and the second seemed to burst through with action scenes, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug definitely thrusts audiences right into conflict and excitement from the get-go.
With 13 dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf the Grey all making their way to reclaim Erebor, there were bound to be some moments of peril (especially when dealing with Orcs). However, the film also offers up conflicts with spiders and, of course, the dragon, to allow for constant action, similar to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
The action in the film comes with suspenseful moments containing capture, rescue and other perilous scenes, but there are also many moments of humor in this film that can sometimes be lacking from Peter Jackson films. While the movie can be a bit hard to follow because there are so many new characters to familiarize yourself with, fan favorites like Legolas, Bilbo and Gandolf the Grey help to maintain the integrity of the film.
Of course, the cliff hanger at the end of the film was to be expected since there will be a third film, and the plot is nowhere near predictable or stagnant. If you’re looking for a film to captivate with its storyline, special effects and dialogue; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will not disappoint.